Northern California Research

​​An Independent Clinical Trial Center

   916.484.0500

FAQs - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


What if I didn't receive my Informational Packet in the mail or via email?

Informational packets normally contain your Study Summary or Informed Consent Form (ICF),  directions to our office where you have your appointment.  Most importantly, it contains the  Registration Forms necessary to conduct your screening visit.  You can receive this information  from us by mail, by email, by clicking the Registration Form button here.  It will take you to our  online fillable form.  It is about 7 pages long and most patients have it completed in 15 minutes. Once completed the form is automatically transmitted back to us for your appointment.  You should also receive a copy in your inbox.  Since every study will require a whole new form, we recommend you keep one online for fast and easy access in the future. 


What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a research study designed to answer specific questions about investigational drugs. Tests are conducted according to strict rules set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


Who can participate in a clinical trial?

Each clinical trial has its own particular requirements as well as its own exclusion criteria. In general, if you are 18 years of age or older, can read and understand the clinical trial study consent form and can are able to travel to our offices for the clinical trial study visits, you may be eligible to participate. Please contact Northern California Research for clinical trial study information and your qualifications for specific studies of interest to you.                                                                                            
                                                                                              
What are the benefits to me of participating in a clinical trial?
There are a wide variety of benefits to participating in a clinical trial.  It really depends on one's own perspective.  We like to say one of the benefits is discovering what we call "one of the best kept health care secrets in the world".   Others might say it is the generous payment (stipend) received for participation.   The fact there is never any cost to participate and no obligation to stay in the study is always a benefit. 


If I agree to participate in a clinical trial, what are my obligations?
As a volunteer for a clinical trial, you are agreeing to participate in the study and follow the instructions and requests as necessary to be compliant. 


If you determine that you do not have the time to participate in a clinical trial, you may leave the study at any time for any reason. As a condition of your departure from a clinical trial, we ask that you contact the study coordinator at Northern California Research, return any unused medication and allow time for an exit physical exam/procedure.


Why should I participate in a clinical trial?

You are taking part in medical science history! You have the opportunity to participate in treatment before it becomes widely available.  By playing a more active role in your own healthcare, you may benefit from an alternative course of treatment that you or your physician might not otherwise have known about. You will receive expert medical care during the clinical trial.  And many of our studies are investigational use of an already approved drug, treatment or device. 


Are there any risks to participation in a clinical trial?

Many clinical trial studies require the use of a placebo (an inactive substance that has no therapeutic value). You may receive a placebo in a clinical trial, which means you will not be receiving therapeutic effects.  You may have a reaction to a medication used in a study or experience some sort of unpleasant side effect.  These types of risks will be known to you when you before the study thru the Informed Consent Process. 


What if I experience a new medical problem outside of the scope of the clinical trial?
There may be instances during the study when unrelated medical issues are uncovered.   The level of severity with this issue will greatly determine how we move forward; as well as, what we can or can not do to help you resolve these issues.  We will not take the place of your physician.  With your permission, we can explain to him/her our findings and provide them with all of your study related care. 


What happens after a trial?
After a study phase is complete, the data is collected . Depending on the results, researchers then determine whether to stop testing or move to the next phase of study. After phase III of a study is complete, researchers decide if the results are medically important and may submit them to journals for peer-review. Typically it is then submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval.


If a drug is approved, pharmaceutical companies may continue to conduct studies that compare the new drug-in terms of its safety, effectiveness, and cost-to other drugs already on the market or assess a drug's long term impact on the quality of a person's life.


What if I didn't receive my Informational Packet in the mail or via email?

Informational packets normally contain your Study Summary or Informed Consent Form (ICF), directions to our office where you have your appointment.  Most importantly, it contains the Registration Forms necessary to conduct your screening visit.  You can receive this information from us by mail, by email, go to our online registration form.  It is about 5 pages long and can be completed online without special software in about 15 minutes. Once completed the form will be transmitted back to us for your appointment.  You will receive your completed copy in your inbox. Since every study will require a new form, we recommend you keep this online for fast and easy access with future studies. 


Your information privacy:
Medical patients and clinical trial participants need to trust that the healthcare system will keep their personal health information private. The policies and procedures implemented at Northern California Research fully comply with those of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that was passed in August 1996 and became effective in April 2003.